After failing to appear at a corruption inquiry earlier this year, South Africa’s constitutional court sentenced former president Jacob Zuma to 15 months in jail for contempt of court.
In February, Zuma failed to appear at the inquiry led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, and after that, the inquiry’s lawyers approached the constitutional court to seek an order for his arrest.
Zuma was in power from 2009 to 2018, during which time the inquiry is investigating allegations of high-level graft. Zuma denies wrongdoing and has not cooperated so far.
A constitutional court judge read out the court’s order, which sentenced Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma to 15 months in prison.
The judge ordered Zuma to appear before the police within five days.
Zuma’s spokesman told eNCA television that he would issue a statement later.
Zuma is accused of plundering state resources and influencing policy through businessmen close to him – brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta.
They left South Africa after Zuma was ousted by allies of his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, who also denies wrongdoing.
Africa’s most industrialized nation has been trying to regain investor confidence under Ramaphosa. Nevertheless, he faces opposition from a faction within the ruling African National Congress party that is still loyal to Zuma.